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Sump Pump Repair and Troubleshooting

Sump pumps are great at protecting your basement from floods and water damage when they are installed correctly and function properly. However, if your pump breaks down, your top priority should be to fix it, given that a dysfunctional sump pump can lead to devastating consequences.

Most of the time, a sump pump repair task can be accomplished by the homeowner. Before buying a new sump pump or hiring a professional to fix the old one, try to locate the problem and attempt to fix it yourself. And, if you still have additional questions regarding sump pumps, check our the FAQ page.

Typical Sump Pump Problems and How to Solve Them
Know that the lifespan of a sump pump is about 10 years, and so they do eventually wear out. However, inspecting and maintaining the sump pump on a regular basis can minimize the need for sump pump repair.

The Float
The most common problem associated with a malfunctioning sump pump is the float. This device, in the shape of a ball, is designed to rise with the incoming water and automatically turn on the sump pump when the water reaches a certain level. If the float is defective, the sump pump will not be triggered and an overflow of water will occur. So, examine the float and check that there is no debris obstructing its rise and fall. To avoid potential water damage in your basement, check it on a regular basis to ensure proper performance.

The Valve
The check valve could be another possible problem. When a valve is installed incorrectly, water will go back into the basin after the pump has shut off, causing extra work for your sump pump and additional wear and tear. To fix a valve problem, first, assure yourself that it is not clogged with debris, and then verify that the arrow on the valve is pointing away from the sump pump and not towards it.

The Impeller
The next typical problem that may require sump pump repair involves the impeller. If the impeller jams or starts to make a strange buzzing noise, it should be fixed immediately as the pump may stop working. Again, most likely, some debris has accumulated inside and needs to be discarded. Remove the impeller, and thoroughly clean out the interior. To avoid obstruction of the impeller again, a filter can be installed to trap debris.

Electrical Wiring
After making certain that the problem is not the float, valve, or impeller, the trouble at hand might be an electrical one. Check to see if there are any glitches with the circuit breakers, fuses, power supplies, or if there are any broken wires or faulty connections. If you are certain that all is secure and the sump pump has been thoroughly cleaned of debris, and it is still not performing properly, your last resort is to call a professional for a sump pump repair job, or consider purchasing a new one.

Purchase and Installation
One last thing or two - before buying a sump pump, there are two important factors to consider: how much water can the basin hold, and how quickly can it be pumped out (that is, the rate at which the valve eliminates the water from the pit). This will help you determine which sump pump you want to buy. It is crucial to install the sump pump properly in order to ensure its good function and that it will last its average lifespan.

 

This article was written by Herb Mansfield:
Herb Mansfield is a master plumber in the province of Quebec, Canada. He has over 35 years experience in the plumbing field. He is now lending his expertise to the Sump Pump Info website.

 


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